BE - I too this photo at an outdoor book market in Paris. Through 2020, many have learned about being rather than doing as we've been in and out of quarantine, shutdowns, and lockdowns. Exploring and adventure doesn't always mean traveling somewhere, join me as I blog and explore!
Can you imagine having joy without sorrow? The reward without the toil? Celebrating a resurrection with no death? There’s something about walking through pain that allows deep-seated joy to reign supreme.
In the midst of transitioning to a new life, new traditions are created, and holidays are often when those transitions are felt the most. This year has been full of those for me. I’m in Ukraine today and Hungary tomorrow. Things change tomorrow: I change languages, time zones (but ironically not times!), and from an Orthodox holiday schedule to a Gregorian schedule (the one most of us are used to).
You see, last week was Palm Sunday and yesterday was Good Friday in the majority of the Christian world, but in Ukraine, Easter is being celebrated 5 weeks from now. It’s not even on most people’s radars yet. Tomorrow I fly to Hungary and I arrive on Easter for resurrection celebration, food, community and connection with the States.
Because I’ve been in Ukraine, I have the unique experience this year of celebrating Easter without meditating on the time leading up to it. Very little discussion has taken place for me about Palm Sunday, The Last Supper, Good Friday or Peter’s denial. I have missed the part where the pain is felt. Yet, Easter Sunday is the week most people are open to visiting a church, and their experience is quite like mine this year: the climax of human history isn’t hyped up or prepared for. It’s a day where the momentous story is told with an incredible ending, where the pain only lasts a moment.
This situation has me thinking, how different would the story of faith be if there was no Good Friday? Would we know the depths of need? Would there be cause for celebration? Would the Gospel even exist? I think not. The words “it is finished” never would have been uttered.
In our lives, it’s the same. Without the hard work, it’s impossible to celebrate. Without the pain, we can’t experience the healing. Without sin, we can’t grasp forgiveness.
What hope are you looking for this Easter? What pain are you experiencing before the joy?